I made this recipe for the Helen Keller International Virtual Gala this year (2020) and Nancy and I just made a variation of it while we were together filming Holiday Baking Championship for Food Network!
Vietnamese Lettuce Wraps
For the seasoned meat:
12oz ground chicken (or beef or meat substitute)
4oz ground pork
2-3 tbsp grated fresh ginger, about a 2” piece
2 scallions, green and white parts, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp sodium-reduced soy sauce
1½ tsp fish sauce
½ tsp chinese five spice
2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for cooking
For the herb and veggie salad:
1 cup parsley leaves
½ cup cilantro leaves
6-8 mint leaves
6-8 basil leaves
2 persian cucumbers, quartered lengthwise and cut into ½” pieces
3 radishes, halved and thinly sliced
1 lime, zest and 1 tablespoon juice
1-2 tsp olive oil
For the dipping sauce:
¼ c water
2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar or white vinegar of choice
2-3 tsp sriracha or hot sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp minced scallions
1 small garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon dijon mustard
Butter lettuce leaves or Romaine leaves
Garnish: chopped roasted peanuts and lime wedges
Prepare the meat mixture: In a large bowl, mix the ground chicken (or beef) and pork with the remaining ingredients. Set aside for at least 1 hour. (This can be done a day ahead.)
Cook the meat mixture: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the ground meat mixture; make sure to break the meat up as it cooks and browns. Don’t be afraid to allow the meat to get dark brown in color. There is flavor in the brown.
Prepare the herb and veggie salad: gather all the herbs together on the cutting board and coarsely chop them. Add them to a medium bowl. Add the cucumbers and radishes. Toss the mixture together. Add the lime zest and season with salt. Just before serving, toss the salad with lime juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
Prepare the dipping sauce: In a ½ pint or pint-size jar, add all of the ingredients. Shake until everything is completely combined.
Putting it all together: On a large platter, make a mound of the seasoned meat, a mound of the herb and veggie salad and a pile of the lettuce leaves. Garnish with the chopped peanuts and lime wedges. Serve the dipping sauce on the side.